Friday, July 18, 2008

Lining a Store-Bought Skirt

Many sheer skirts only require a lining to make them modest, and for ladies who think that skirts aren't warm enough to wear in winter, adding a cozy lining could be the solution they need.

I hit upon this idea a year ago and have now added a lining to 2 store-bought skirts and 2 Boutique Narelle skirts. I wish I'd thought of it years ago. This post is to show you how easy it is to do it yourself, following the instructions below. There will be images from the two store-bought skirts I 'improved'. Remember to click on the images to enlarge.

Apart from modesty and warmth, there are 2 other reasons why a lined skirt is better than an unlined skirt: it feels luscious, and it helps prevent the seat from sagging.

Illustration Skirt #1: plum polyester suede (listed as chamois-look raisin at Ballentynes)
Features: back zip; a complex series of bias-cut panels
Lining: pink cotton flannelette (Simply Fabrics, Dannevirke)

Illustration Skirt #2: teal stretch corduroy (Postie+)
Features: side zip; fly; fixed facing/waistband
Lining: black poly interlock (Spotlight)
Rest of outfit: zipped polar fleece jacket (Postie+); ruched merino turtleneck (The Warehouse).

You need:
  1. An unlined skirt
  2. Lining fabric. Flannelette is great for winter coziness (around NZ$6/m); poly interlock also works well (Spotlight sales tables offer this at NZ$3/m). Polyester lining (sometimes referred to as taffeta) or cotton lawn work for summer-weight skirts.
Step 1: Fold lining in half so the fold runs from selvedge to selvedge. Turn skirt inside out and lay it on top of the lining with the waistband 20mm from fold. Pin skirt to lining. Mark edges of skirt, then mark 15mm out from that for seam allowance. Place a few pins along the length to keep the two layers of the lining together.

3 NOTES ***:

*If skirt has a facing or inner yoke, measure downward from this, not forgetting to add seam allowance at the top.

*Don't worry if the lining fabric is shorter than the skirt (see illustration below). The lining's hem should be at least an inch shorter than the skirt's hem. If it is a straight skirt with a full flounce, or a very long skirt in a heavy fabric, you may only need the lining to come just below the knees.

The skirt hem is folded up so you can see the bottom of the lining fabric. The small-headed pin at the bottom of the side seam marking is where the skirt hem comes to. There wasn't enough lining to allow for an even hem at this length, so I raised it until it was even, meaning the lining would be 14cm shorter than the skirt.

*Don't worry if the skirt is wider than the lining fabric. Unless the skirt is a very straight style, the lining doesn't need to be as full as the skirt, but do ensure there is kick room.

Step 2: Mark the waistband edge but do not cut along it. Cut along the lining fold.

Step 3: Unpin the skirt and fold the lining in half lengthwise to check that the side seams you have marked are equal. One way to do this is to pin through all thicknesses along the lines you have drawn and mark the pin locations with tailor's chalk, comparing the pin locations with the cutting lines you have already drawn (see illustration below). While lining is folded, do the same along the waistline, checking that your pins are progressing along the line you marked. Make necessary adjustments.

Step 4: Unfold lining. Add 15mm seam allowance to waistband. Cut out lining.

Step 5: With pins, mark the length of the zip down the centre back.

Step 6: Stitch side seams and hem. Press seam allowance out.

Step 7: Cut centre back zip length.

Step 8: Pin lining to skirt facing, right side to right side, matching side seams. Stitch, running machine as close to the zip as you can.

Step 9: Turn under seam allowance on each side of zip opening, keeping lining clear of zipper teeth. Pin, and stitch securely by hand (see illustration below).

There, you're done! Doesn't it look cozy?

4th NOTE *:

*The top half of the maroon suede skirt was fitted, with fullness opening out at the knee allowing the wearer walking room without requiring a split. Rather than putting a split in the lining, I added fullness, but without creating the fancy inset panels which allowed the fullness in the skirt. This looked a wee bit odd after it was cut, and as it turned out, the lining didn't need as much kick room as the skirt offered, but it was no problem to remove this extra fabric once I'd tried wearing it. The illustration below shows where I realigned the seam and cut off the excess.



The photographs below show the progression of the lining process for the teal corduroy skirt.

The skirt is wider than the lining fabric. Because the skirt has plenty of fullness for active walking, it doesn't matter that the lining is a little less full. After all, nobody's going to see it!

Tailor's chalk was used to mark the garment edge, seam allowance, and position of the waistband facing. This image clearly shows the fly tab which prevents zip discomfort to the wearer.

The chalk marks here show the realignment of the side seam to cater for the lack of width in the lining fabric. The edge of the skirt was marked, then the skirt folded back to give a clear view of the line. I used a measuring tape to help me sketch a graceful line to the hem.

Using the side marks, I sketched the line of the facing.

The lining is cut out with 15mm seam allowance added at the waistline. The side seams are stitched (below), leaving the top open on the zip side.

Because the facing was top-stitched to the skirt, I hemmed the lining's seam allowance at the waistband (above) and hand-stitched this to the skirt facing (below). I added extra seam allowance (above) at the top of the lining on the zip side so I had room to fit the lining around the edge of the fly (below). As it turned out, I didn't need this, but it's better to be safe than sorry.


That's another cozy winter skirt! I launder it on a wool wash (medium spin cycle) so it doesn't need pressing. It dries on a clothes horse, first with the lining pulled out of the skirt, and when the length is dry, it's poked back inside to let the waistline finish drying.

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